No one wants to buy something they thought was Louis Vuitton, or an iPad, only to take it home and discover it’s nothing but a lousy fake. It’s big business though, as U.S. Customs and Border Protection snagged around 25,000 counterfeit goods valued at $178.9 million total last year. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular items you should be avoiding, shall we?
CNNMoney has a list of the top 10 fakes making their way around the country with sneaky vendors looking to score your money. And hey, sometimes customers are well aware that they’re buying a knockoff. So, shame on you.
Here are just a few:
Electronics: The urge to have the coolest gadgets has brought about a surge of faux tablets, phones, DVDs and mp3 players, to the tune of $39 million worth of electronics seized. The retail value of those counterfeits is up at $101.2 million. These can look very similar to the real thing, with small changes like where the on/off switch is or the buttons colors. Look at the product ID guide on the real product’s site if you’re worried you’ve got a fake.
Clothing: There are plenty of fake versions of popular jeans and sports jerseys to feed consumer desire to wear the coolest duds. They’re one of the most common example of counterfeit goods to be snagged by officials at a value of $14.8 million, and $126.3 million in retail value. Look closely for cheaper fabrics and zippers, logos that aren’t quite right or details of the brand name on the buttons.
Cigarettes: Here’s one we hadn’t heard of as being so common — steep taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco items has created a market for counterfeits, with $8.2 million worth seized. A knockoff cigarette is cheap, sure, but they could contain even more harmful chemicals than the real thing, and might not self-extinguish like a real one will.
For more counterfeits and how to spot them, check out CNNMoney.
Top 10 counterfeit goods [CNNMoney]